The National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) was launched in 1983 with the objective to arrest the disease in all known areas. It was formed from the National Leprosy Control Programme (MLCP) which was also started by the government of India in 1955. It utilizes multi-drug therapy (MDT) which was discovered in the 1970s and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) study group in October 1981.
By the progress achieved through use of MDT, in 1991 the world health organization assembly was motivated to set a target of eliminating leprosy at a global level by the year 2000 which eventually led to World Bank-supported NLEPs in endemic nations (including India).
In year 2001, the NLEP put together the following strategy towards leprosy elimination in India: Decentralization of NLEPs to states and districts, Integration of leprosy services with General Healthcare System (GHS), Leprosy training and GHS functionaries, Surveillance for early diagnosis and prompt MDT through routine and special efforts, Intensified IEC using local and manmade approaches, and Prevention of disability and care. In addition, the strategies were also modified as the programme continued.
For example, in the strategic plan of action (2004-05) programme focus was shifted from states to high and medium endemic districts and blocks. Also, in the Focus Leprosy Eradication Plan (FLEP2005) and in the intensified supervision and monitoring that marked the end of the programme in the year 2005. The programme was conducted through different phases of World Bank supported NLEP. Through planning and well execution of activities, leprosy was eliminated as a public health problem at the national level in the month of December 2005. This brought the prevalence rate in the country to 0. 95/10000 population.
References Dr. G. P. S. Dhillon and Dr. B. N. Barkakaty. NATIONAL LEPROSY ERADICATION PROGRAMME IN INDIA: ACHIEVEMENTS AND DEFICIENCIES. National Leprosy Eradication Programme of India (NLEP) India government. (2005). National Leprosy Eradication Programme. retrieved may 4 2010 from http://india. gov. in/sectors/health_family/national_programme. php. World Health Organization (WHO). Initiatives in the National Leprosy Eradication Program of India. Rtrieved may 4 2010 from http://www. whoindia. org/EN/Section3/Section122_1215. htm. Mittal BN. (2006) The national leprosy eradication programme in India.